My kimono flower crest - October

how men can wear a kimono

Creator of this kimono webpage
about me
Men in kimono lined up

Various kimono information like:
tasuki, kimono coats, going to the bathroom, obi color meanings, etc

Doing some work in a kimono with the help of a Tasuki

Tasuki is a cord which tucks up sleeves of Kimono or Yukata so you can work more easier without worrying about the sleeves getting in the way.

youtube thumbnail of How to tie Tasuki
How to tie Tasuki
youtube thumbnail of How to tie Tasuki
youtube thumbnail of How to tie Tasuki
Tasuki たすき 襷 (Sleeve Tying)
youtube thumbnail of How to tie Tasuki
How to Tie a Tasuki

Coats for the male Kimono wearer

Below are coats that men can use to protect the Kimono (and themselves) against snow, rain and the cold.

Kakusode (overcoat with haori-style sleeves) / 角袖 (かくそで)

Kakusode, probably the most popular version for men. The name "Kakusode" is intended to refer to the shape of the square (corners not rounded) sleeve of the original kimono. In addition, the shape of the collar and the top and bottom of the coat can be different. Since one has unique preferences it would be good to choose what you like.
In the department store there is a collection of various colors and materials like wool, silk and synthetic, but those of pure silk will cost around 150.000-160.000 yen. Given the features and intended use as a coat, I think that it is sufficient to say that a non silk coat would be the most relaxing material because you don't have to worry much about the dirt you will get on the coat. (silk is .... not very suitable for cleaning)

Mojiri / 捩り (もぢり)

[still searching for a good description]

Traveling coat / 道行 (みちゆき)

A kimono overcoat with a square collar and buttons in the front that is to be worn to protect the kimono from rain. There is no standard length and some can be as long as the kimono underneath.
Michi means “street” and “yuki” refers to “going outside”. Most michiyuki have a “secret pocket” beneath the front panel, accessible by the right hand.
Originally it was worn by men in the Edo era, nowaday's it is almost exclusive worn by women. Men can be mistaken for gay when wearing this.

Tonbi coat
Tonbi / 鳶 (とんび)

A tonbi (とんび) or manto (マント, from the English word mantle, meaning cloak) is a sleeveless overcoat with a short attached cape worn by men with kimono. Other names include nijuumawashi (二重回し, two-layered wrap) or nijuu-manto (二重マント, two-layer cloak). They are also known as Inverness Coats (インバネスコート), as they were inspired by the sleeveless or long-sleeved overcoats with short attacked capes which originated in Scottish Highland dress and are known in English as Inverness capes.
With a basic design of a convertible collar, you can wear this coat on casual walks as well as over a formal kimono.

These coats were at their height of popularity in Japan between the Meiji Period and the early Shōwa Period, when Western fashions began to be imported; a sleeveless tonbi was particularly versatile as it could be worn with both Western and Japanese clothing. They continue to be worn by some men with kimono and other wafuku.

The photo on the left are examples of Pearl tone and cashmere. Choose length by preference.

The original page where this tonbi-coat text came from can be found at Immortal Geisha

kimono raincoat
Raincoat / 雨ゴート

A coat, in the style of a michiyuki, designed to be worn over the kimono and obi, to help keep off rain. Made from closely woven fabric that is rain resistant.
As for height of the coat, make sure there is plenty of hem, if it is not something which can prevent the mud splash, there is no meaning. In addition, since there is also a need to keep it folded when entering a room, I think it is convenient due to it being thin and light fabric to carry.

The original Japanese page where most of this info came from can be found at Kimono Taizen

An approximate Kimono conversion list in cm's

Looking auction and web pages there doesn't seem to be a fixed values that is attached to the S-XXL size designiation.
What I found most reliable is looking at the length of the kimono 身丈 and the size of the back seam to the end of the sleeve 裄丈.

In my case, 185cm tall and a belly of around 102cm my kimono sizes are:
身丈 155-158cm (length of Kimono garment)
裄丈 78-82cm (distance from the seam in the back of a kimono to the end of the sleeve)
肩幅 39cm (shoulder width (breadth)
袖幅 39cm (sleeve width)
袖丈 55cm (height of a sleeve)

Kimono size conversion: Example 1



Kimono size conversion: Example 2

Men's kimono size table サイズ = Size
身長 = body height
着丈 = dress length
袖丈 = sleeve length
丈 = length
肩巾 = shoulder width
前巾 = front width
後巾 = back width

If an auction site posts kimono sizes they usually give you the actual length of the garments,
use the info below to find the correct sizes for you:
Garment lengthHow to calculate
Kimono LengthYour Height in cm - 25 to 27cm
Juban LengthYour Kimono Length - 4cm
Haori LengthYour Kimono Length - 50cm
Hakama LengthYour Kimono Length × 0.6
KitakeYour Height in cm - 25 to 27cm
Vertical sleeve lengthYour Height in cm ÷ 3

pointer right Kitake is the Kimono length from the shoulder top to the bottom, not to be confused with 'Mitake', the sizing used for women. Though looking at the shops mitake is more used then kitake, even for men's kimono ;)
The Japanese goods, flowing scents page has done a easy to understand explanation about the differences of mitake and kitake.
Men should use the Kitake scale, because men don't need to make the Ohashory part.

Want to make it a real challange finding out your size, though this document seems to be focussed at women.
Find out your own kimono size (jpn with english glossary at the end).

Correct way to measure kimono sleeve length
The correct way to measure your arm length, hold your arm at a 45 degree angle and measure from the wrist then following your arm shape to the neck instead of a straight line to the neck.
Correct way to measure kimono dress length
For the dress length, measure from the neck to your ankles but also here, follow the body.

men's kimono basic colors

After some extravagance in color, design and price in the early Edo period, where you could hardly see the difference between a man and women in a kimono, a decree was made to limit this. For now it seems that only women have recovered and men stayed in the limited range of colors, mostly in the shade (dark) spectrum and solid color.
Though there is still hope: check out the section 'Who says men can only wear dull kimono's ?'

Below a range of men's kimono colors, where navy blue and black are the most common colors.

black kimono
blue kimono
brown kimono
chestnut kimono
Grass kimono
Gray kimono
Green kimono
India-inkt kimono
Navy-blue kimono
Red kimono

The original Japanese page where these images came from can be found at Rakuten store - 京越卸屋

Color meanings for men's obi

Some possible meanings of the colors used. I say possible because around the net everyone is giving different answers.
I tried to filter out the ones that answered what in Japan the color meanings are for a men's obi.

green kaku-obiGreen

Eternal life / Youth and vitality / Freshness /
Fertility and growth
water-color kaku-obiWater

(feel free to contact me with an answer)

yellow kaku-obiYellow
Courage / Beauty and refinement / Aristocracy /
Cheerfullness / Sincerity.
Gold: Strength, Wealth
brown kaku-obiBrown

(feel free to contact me with an answer)

blue kaku-obiBlue

Everyday life / Purity and cleanliness /
Calmness and stability / Benevolence
white kaku-obiWhite

Children, helpful people, marriage, mourning, peace, purity, travel

purple kaku-obiPurple

Righteousness / Privilege / Wealth / Virtue
black kaku-obiBlack

Career, evil influences, knowledge, mourning, penance, self-cultivation

gray kaku-obiGray

Helpful people, travel
pink kaku-obiPink


Obi weaving pattern / Kenjou gara / 献上柄 (for the Hakata obi)

(A) Oyako jima (Parent and Child)
The thicker line is regarded as parent and thinner one is child.
"A" has thinner lines between thicker ones, representing the parents
protection and care towards their children.

(B) Hanazara - 華皿 (はなざら)
Represents the design of a flower base used in Buddhist ceremonial called Hanazara

(C) Dokko - 独鈷 (どっこ)
Image of a rolling Dokko, a Buddhist small instrument used by the monks.
Dokko is a tool for esoteric tactics, a metallic Buddhist tool that crushes anxiety and expresses Bodhisattva heart.

(D) Oyako Jima
This stripe is also Oyako jima.
"D" has thinner lines that are outside the thicker one, representing the
children’s care and duty towards their parents.

Explaining the stripe patterns on an obi

(probably) 7 kinds of weaving/patterns that can be classified for a kaku-obi

Obi pattern Karamushi ori

Karamushi (ramie) weaving - からむし織

The weave cloth made of 'Karamushi (ramie)' is called Karamushi-ori. Showa Village is the only place producing Karamushi in Japan and Karamushi products is the specialty. Karamushi-ori-no-Sato is a facility where you can experience Karamushi weaving with a loom and can buy Karamushi products. In the Museum of Ramie Weaving, various Karamushi products are exhibited and the miniature models introduce the process of Karamushi from cultivation to weaving.

Karamushi-ori is made with plant fiber of the stinging nettle family called Choma and is said to be one of the oldest woven textiles in Japan. Everything in the process from growing Karamushi plants to yarn-making and weaving is done by hand. A technique called ohiki is used to take out the fibers.

A movie about making this fabric can be watched at Karamushi-ori (karamushi fabric) Patrimony of soul recorded in 2000 (jpn audio)

Obi pattern Karamushi ori

Obi pattern Ooshima tsumugi ori

Oshima tsumugi weaving - 大島紬

The northwestern part of the Kanto region, for example, has been an important centre for sericulture and the production of silk textiles since the Nara period. The low quality, dirty and dupion (double) cocoons that were an inevitable product of raising silkworms were used to make raw silk which the farmers, during the quiet months of winter, spun into yarn and wove into what is known as tsumugi (pongee). Unlike high quality silk yarn taken from good cocoons, tsumugi yarn has to be twisted and joined as it is spun. The small knots thereby created give rise to the distinctively nubbly texture of the woven fabric. The sturdiness of tsumugi made it popular for clothing among samurai as well as rich townsmen and farmers. The town of Yuki, which was the main centre for tsumugi production and trade, gave its name to the term Yuki tsumugi by which such fabrics came to be known throughout the country.

Obi pattern Ooshima tsumugi ori

Obi pattern Ooshima tsumugi ori

Hakata ori/pattern - 博多

Located in close proximity to China, Fukuoka Prefecture has a long history of interaction with Japan’s western neighbor. One of the fruits of these interactions was the introduction of Chinese weaving techniques to Japan.
Modification and adaptation of these techniques led to the development of Hakata-ori, a textile produced around Fukuoka City’s Hakata Ward. Now governmentally recognized as a traditional craft of Fukuoka Prefecture, it also represents a key element of Japan’s fashion culture.
The origins of Hakata-ori can be traced back to 1235, when a young Hakata merchant named Mitsuta Yazaemon traveled to China with the monk Shoichi Kokushi. For six years, Kokushi studied Buddhism while Yazaemon learned a number of techniques, including manju (Chinese sweet bun) making, ceramics and textiles.

Hakata pattern

Obi pattern Mon ori

Mon ori - Patterned Weaving - 紋織り

Woven fabrics are either plain or patterned. Plain fabrics are generally woven using only one weave structure. In the case of patterned fabrics, weave structures are varied and yarns of different colours are used to create designs. There are three main techniques for producing patterned fabrics. The first, which involves different weave structures for the background and the design, is used to make fabrics such as aya (twill), donsu (satin damask), rinzu (satin) and mon-chirimen (patterned silk crepe). The second, whereby yarns of different colours are woven using a single weave structure, is exemplified by tsuzure-ori (tapestry weaving) and tate-nishiki (warp-patterned brocade). The third involves the creation of patterns through the use of coloured yarns in addition to the warp and weft threads of the background. Historical textiles that have survived in the form of so-called Shosoingire and Meibutsugire belong to this category.

Mon ori pattern

Nami ori pattern

Nami (wave) ori/pattern - 波折り

In some way, nami (wave) suggests a feeling of leisure and relaxation. The pattern also represents strength, with marvelous depictions of churning, flowing waves.

Nami ori

OObi pattern Sanzun ori

Sanzun ori/pattern - 燦然折り

Sanzun ori

Betsuzome ori

Betsuzome (special dyeing) ori/pattern - 別染め

Seems be the pattern for festival (おどり帯) obi's.

Betsuzome ori

The original pages that triggered my investigation can be found at Kimono taizen and Shop Japan

Japanese patterns in menwear

faburiq - Japanese patterns in menwear, a must read if you are interested in patterns used for men's clothing.
Kiriko - Japanese patterns, Japanese clothing traditional patterns in general.

Do you wrap your obi right or left : Kanto Maki and Kansai Maki

Even within Japan itself, how kimono are worn often differs from place to place. Giving an example with a big difference, there is this difference in wrapping obi from right to left and from left to right. When obi is wrapped from right to left in front of your body, it is called Kanto Maki. And the other way round is called Kansai Maki. As the names imply, Kanto Maki is mainly seen in the eastern Japan and Kansai Maki is mainly seen in the western Japan. Other than the case where there is a difference in tesaki (starting point)’s starting point being right or left, the complete look after wrapping the obi is the same for both methods.

However, you should be careful that different part of obi’s patterns that are on the ventral side (hara-mon) may appear depending on what method you use, Kanto Maki or Kansai Maki. You will regret if you do not select an obi with patterns that appear as you like with the easier wrapping method for you when you wrap the obi yourself. When you have someone to wrap an obi for you, make sure you check which side of the patterns is to appear and clearly tell the person of your preference. it comes in handy if you can wrap your obi in 2 methods. You can use different sides of obi with two types of hara-mon, or you can use the other side of obi when one side is stained.

Sikkai - “a trader who undertakes anything about kimonos”

“Sikkai” is a Japanese word that means “all” in English. But this word means “a trader who undertakes anything about kimonos” in the kimono industry. The words “Sikkaiya” and “Sikkaigyo” have that same meaning as “Sikkai.” You probably wonder what’s the difference between a kimono shop and “Sikkai.”The answer is,a kimono shop sells kimonos and “Sikkai” undertakes repairs and processing of kimonos.

For example,”Sikkai” wash kimonos, but a kimono shop does not do that. And these days,it’s difficult to find “Sikkai” immediately. In many cases people consult a kimono shop which will find Shikkai easily, and the shop will introduce Shikkai to them. Not a few kimono shops also do Shikkai business even if it is another one. There are various jobs of Shikkai. Ordinarily people will ask them to do “Maruarai” (wash a kimono just as it is), “Shiminuki” (stain removal) and “Kakehagi” (invisible mending). They also do “Sumpo naoshi” (alteration), “Somekae” (re-dyeing) and “Mon-ire” (drawing family crest) as a little larger scale jobs. When you often wear kimono, you should find Shikkai whom you can ask such jobs freely. He/She will help you in the nick of time.

Why is there such a wide range in antique and vintage kimono prices?

Many different factors determine prices. First: age, rarity, and condition. Second: aesthetics. Since in Japan the best kimono have always been considered textile art, kimono prices can vary as much as do prices on paintings. Thus, beautiful and rare antique kimono command a premium. Some kinds of decorating techniques are held in especially high regard. Some hand-painted or yuzen-dyed kimono were extremely costly when originally made, and beautiful examples have maintained high values.

To read the rest of the story go to the original source at Marla Mallett - Japanese Kimono Questions.

How to go to the bathroom in a kimono

Finally found some video's for the male population of kimono wearers on how to go to the bathroom !
youtube thumbnail of How to go to the toilet in kimono
男の着物 おまけ トイレは・・・(大)
How about the toilet visit when in kimono ?
(the big one)
youtube thumbnail of How to go to the toilet in kimono
男の着物 おまけ トイレは・・・(小)
How about the toilet visit when in kimono ?
(the small one)

For the big one it is sometimes easier to also tie or tuck the sleeves (Tasuki) so they dont get in the way when wiping.
On how, go to the top of this page 'Doing some work in a kimono with the help of a Tasuki' section.

Suggestions when going to the toilet and wearing an hakama

(小) Small one - method 1

Same as the video above, only you pull also the hakama up.

If you do not properly wait for the last drop to be finished then when you try to put it back into the underwear, 'drops' will drip on the hakama which in turn can possibly become a stain. Please pay attention.
(小) Small one - method 2

If you do not find it comfortable or easy to keep such a bunch of cloths high in the air or it is blocking your view, you could also take of the hakama, put it somewhere safe and take the steps detailed in the video.
(大) Big one - method 1

First withdraw your stomach, shift the entire band slightly upwards, take the hem at the back of the underkimono or underwear and pull it up over your back and hold with 1 hand. Time to do your business, when finished and cleaned let go of the pulled garment and return the obi to the original position and correct the hakama which has been gotten out of shape.

This method is handy but it moves the belt up and down with a good chance that the hakama does not return neatly to its original position. This method also puts some presure on your stomach which you don't need at that particular moment of time. Think of this method when you can't hold anymore or when the toilet floor is dirty, though finding another clean toilet would be preferred.
(大) Big one - method 2

Take the hakama off being carefull that the strings do not go near the toilet. Temporarily put the hakama at a safe place (perhaps even on a newspaper to be sure). When the business is finished, put the hakama on again.
This method requires a clean and roomy toilet though.

When the hakama was standard wear for the samurai and elite, it was common practice to use this method.

How to wash your hands in a kimono

youtube thumbnail of Washing hands in a kimono
男性着物 手洗い
Washing hands in a kimono

How to carry an umbrella when wearing a kimono

Men's kimono size table So you want to go traditional and carry a wagasa, the Japanese authentic oil-paper umbrella.

Not much problems with that I think except: should you carry the wagasa with the left or right hand ?
By the logic of 'you must have access to your katana at all times' it seems to be logical that the umbrella should be carried with the left hand. For women (looking at the google images) it seems that the right hand is the standard/most common position for the umbrella.
Can anyone give me some conclusive information about this ?

One thing is certain, you carry the closed wagasa just below the top. Do not use the string at the top which breaks easily.